Troll Bridge

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1997, 2009

(LOCATION APPROXIMATE)

The Troll Bridge is a legend that locals have kept alive for at least a few generations; my father is the one who passed it on to me, and he said he knew of it as a kid.

If you take the back road behind the new super Walmart, you’ll find the chaos of 117 and the industrial zone quickly disappears for wooded suburbs. So wooded, in fact, that if you were to look to your left you’d catch a good glimpse of the infamous Monsterland.

The road narrows suddenly, and before you looms an old, vaguely graffiti’d, single lane bridge with a train track running across the top. There is a sign before the opening that designates this as a quiet zone, so no honking for safety; when I was a kid, my father told me they had to put up the sign because it angered the trolls.

So, naturally when my father took me to Troll Bridge as a kid, he would slowly roll to the opening and give one small honk, wait a few seconds, then proceed. Each time, I would hear soft thuds on the doors of the car – not enough to really scare me, but enough to know something was there.

When we would arrive home, I would find small, flat handprints in the dirt of the car door.

Recently, as an adult, I asked my father if he ever faked the troll bridge noises or handprints. He swears he never did, but I can’t tell if he’s keeping the mystery alive; one thing I do know, though, is that even if he was making the thuds himself, the handprints were always far too small to have belonged to my father.
I recently revisited the bridge, and sadly could not find any troll evidence. Maybe it’s because I don’t want to be rude and honk at them anymore.

Submitted by Mary R.